Clear Channel Using Location Data to Make Billboards into a Hybrid Medium

An unexpected result of the development of mobile-location analytics is its impact on some traditional media channels. Users exposed to specific TV programming (using set-top box data) can be associated with mobile IDs and other data and matched with store visits. Similarly the in-store impact of out-of-home (OOH) — traditional billboard advertising — can be measured in the same way.

This has the impact of turning a traditional channel such as OOH, which was at one point in danger of being marginalized by the migration to digital media, into something much more dynamic and competitive. It makes OOH much more competitive with online and mobile display and has the advantage of guaranteed viewability.

Placed, GroundTruth, NinthDecimal and others are working in the OOH arena. And recently Cuebiq announced a partnership with Clear Channel Outdoor and its RADAR OOH offering. As part of the announcement, the two showcased a case study from 24 Hour Fitness.

The companies used mobile IDs to identify who was exposed to the 24 Hour Fitness billboards. They took into account variables such as proximity to the ads and direction of travel. Then they tracked those mobile users (anonymously) into 24 Hour Fitness locations in two test markets.

Gym visitors were segmented into two groups. A control group matched the company’s desired targeting criteria but included those not exposed to the ad. The other group had been exposed to the ad.

In the markets tested, there was a remarkable 264% lift in gym visits. What’s significant and striking beyond the result itself is the fact that without location data the effectiveness of the channel and campaign would probably never have been fully understood, which has significant implications for media buyers and CMOs.

Accordingly mobile location data is (re)invigorating traditional media and turning some of these channels into a kind of “hybrid medium,” combining traditional media creative and familiarity with digital measurement.

Andy Stevens, Clear Channel SVP of Research, Insights & Analytics will present this case study at The Place Conference. He’ll also discuss how Clear Channel is now using location analytics and insights broadly with customers. He’ll explain some of the practical challenges of working with location data and how Clear Channel is solving them. 

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